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HOW IS COCAINE USED?

Cocaine is a known common drug that still continues to be abused. When we think of cocaine, most people immediately visualize a skinny white line of powder on a flat surface, along with a straw and a sharp edged object for straightening the line. Then we’ll think of a user closing one nostril with their finger while using the straw to snort the entire line up the other nostril. Then maybe they’ll rub the rest of the powder on their gums. This is the most common way cocaine is used.

Photo courtesy: smh.com.au

WHAT IS POLYDRUG USE?

What’s worse than abusing drugs to get high? The answer to that question is called Polydrug Use. What is polydrug use to begin with and how is it worse? Drugs are damaging to our health and livelihood as it is, but abusing a combination of substances to get high is worse than using the drug itself. Polydrug use is exactly that: using a combination of more than one substance, including alcohol, medication, and/or illegal drugs. When mixing different substances, a user’s risk is increased. Not only because they’re doing twice as much, but some substances have dangerous interactions with one another. People want their high to be taken to another level. While this is more dangerous and putting a use at higher risk of overdose, many people doing this don’t care if they wake up another day.

Heroin is one of the world’s most addictive drugs, but what do we really know about it? Here are some facts not many people know about the familiar drug.

 

WHAT IS HEROIN ANYWAY?

As children grow, they witness and learn about life around. As they gather information of the world they live in, they develop coping abilities. While this is all based on their direct experience of their environment and those within it, they’re creating an internal map of how the world works. If trauma is thrown into the mix for a child, that’s going to influence that internal map which interprets the bigger picture. This is how childhood trauma can still affect us as adults.

WHAT IS PTSD?

Many people who experience co-occurring disorders struggle with a combination of addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, PTSD is fairly common. In the United States alone, it’s estimated about 7.7 million American adults are affected by PTSD. Without proper treatment and healing, a person’s risk for addiction is increasingly higher than other adults. This is why it’s vital to identify and treat PTSD properly before people start self medicating. Let’s answer the question, what is PTSD?

Not a lot of people are familiar with dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. So when someone finds out their loved one is struggling it, it can be rather challenging to wrap their head around it. Not only are they learning about one thing, but their learning about two simultaneously! And how they interact or influence the other! So what does someone do when they get this kind of news? What’s the best way to approach and handle it, to be the best support for a loved one?

Helping someone recover from addiction is tough. It’s especially challenging when they’re struggling with a co-occurring disorder in addition. While the focus is mainly on helping an individual regain control of their life and get healthy, we can’t forget their loved ones. Dual diagnosis doesn’t only affect the individual, it greatly affects their friends and family as well. It can be hard for struggling individuals to see their lives and actions clearly, but surrounding sober loved ones see and feel it all. On top of that, they know, a lot of the time, the person isn’t their true self.

Imagine being in a good mood all the time, getting a more restful sleep, holding your attention longer, and retaining your focus. Isn’t that the dream? We would feel great, get more done, and live happier productive lives. You can make your dreams come true and turn this into reality. Believe it or not, all you have to do is change your diet. Our diet has an affect on our mental health and wellbeing. It can either pick us up or bring us down. Here’s some simple changes and suggestions to live a healthier life at an optimum level.

While sugar makes everything tastes amazing, it’s the culprit for many issues. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. We’re aware of the health risks that too much sugar can increase, like obesity and type 2 diabetes, but we don’t always acknowledge the effects it has on mental health. Yet we all feel its effects casting a spell on us, that’s for sure. Maybe we don’t notice those feelings or relate them to sugar.

Not many people are familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but 1% of the population suffers from it. This is another common co-occurring disorder seen paired with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Just like all other dual diagnoses, we can’t just treat addiction and abstain from substances. We need to take care of the mental health related component as well. In this case, Borderline Personality Disorder.

COMBINING BIPOLAR AND ADDICTION

Individuals living with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of abusing drugs and alcohol, especially those who experience extreme shifts in mood. However, bipolar disorder isn’t just about mood swings - it dramatically affects a person’s emotional state, cognitive functioning, judgement, and behavior. A person experiencing extreme fluctuations in mood and energy levels is more willing to take anything to get rid of their discomfort. According to The National Alliance on Mental Health, 56 percent of people with bipolar disorder have a history of illicit drug abuse, while 44 percent have abused or are dependent on alcohol. The combination of severe bipolar disorder and addiction increases the risk of negative and unhealthy outcomes.

Addiction is not an easy battle to fight. For some, it seems nearly impossible to recover. Unfortunately, they might be right; there could be a deeper reason for that struggle. There’s a chance someone could be dealing with co-occurring disorders and not even know it. Not many people are familiar with it to begin with. So what are co-occurring disorders?

Expressing one’s own feelings and emotions might not be as easy for some people; especially, if they’ve experienced significant trauma. Some people are embarrassed to share those thoughts and moments, or worry about being judged. Others might not want to revisit those memories or feelings, therefore avoiding it and keeping it to themselves. Bottling things up isn’t the healthy route we might think it is. Avoiding isn’t the same as coping. No one wants to feel pain, that’s understandable; however, we need to allow ourselves to heal.

Yoga is known to be good for the mind and body, keeping us centered and feeling rejuvenated. However, did you know this ancient practice could also help with recovering from addiction? This makes sense when you think about addiction as a way to self medicate the mind and its harmful effects on the body. By committing to a practice that supports the mind and body, addiction can slowly start taking a backseat. A satisfied, healthy mind and body won’t depend so strongly on addiction. This is always easier said than done, but with dedication to one’s health and wellness, it will make the road to recovery so much smoother and help to prevent relapse.

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